PE Ledger

A new award for a net-zero home has been created to encourage builders on Prince Edward Island

‘We want to follow New Brunswick’s model and have dozens of efficient constructors.’

The first-ever prizes for excellence in residential building, given out by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of P.E.I., went to an energy-efficient home in New Glasgow, P.E.I.

T&J Construction won the prize for best net-zero ready home, which was one of six categories.

“Since I began working with new construction, I’ve been interested in energy efficiency. Started in R-2000, and now net-zero is the newest trend, “Tim McHatten, the owner and builder, remarked.

“It was obviously a passionate thing for us because of their efficiency level and the architecture you can build with them.”

R-2000 is a voluntary standard formed by Natural Resources Canada in association with the residential construction industry in Canada to encourage the use of inexpensive, energy-efficient building practices and techniques and clean air features and other environmental initiatives.

According to McHatten, a net-zero home produces as much energy as it consumes, whether off the grid or still linked to the grid.

“You have to have a home that fulfils the efficiency criteria and can generate its power if you’re entirely off the grid and not reliant on power,” McHatten said.

“You can design a net-zero ready home while still being connected to the grid and producing power, but you still have that backup protection in case something goes wrong.”

Key features

Many of the important aspects of net-zero construction are included in the winning home, according to McHatten.

“A large part of it is insulation. Net-zero homes have a lot of ventilation, triple-pane windows, and other energy-efficient features, “According to McHatten.

“The foundations of the I.C.F. are crucial. Insulation, particularly attic insulation, is critical beneath the slabs. Getting sunlight via the windows is also a big step.”

The house, according to McHatten, includes heat pumps and a hybrid hot water heater with a heat pump built-in, which costs approximately a tenth of what an electric hot water heater would.

McHatten explained that the home’s design is square for a reason.

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